The Fourth of July has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues. Punta Gorda has honored this tradition in many ways through the years like the above pictured parade down Marion Avenue in the 1930s and annual fish frys. The Freedom Swim - the swim, paddle or bobble across the Peace River - has been an annual tradition for twenty-six years.
This year's events include:
Fishermen's Village Annual Celebration from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. including the culmination of the Freedom Swim, live music, and dancing. Harpoon Harry's will offer crafts, treats, face-painting, plus bath suite and hula hoop contests.
The Village is also a great spot to watch the fireworks displays which begin at 9 p.m.
Laishley Park 4th Fest 2017
A family-oriented festival with vendors, food, beverages, live music, waterslides and water games. The $3 admission supports annual fireworks display. Here is the day's schedule:
11am to 9:30pm
|11:00am||Gates Open - Waterslides available|
|3:30pm||Live Music - OCD Band|
|5:00pm||Presentation of the Flag by the Charlotte High School NJROTC and the National Anthem by 12 year old Bria Guin|
|5:30pm||Live Music - The Boogiemen Rock and Soul Review|
|7:00pm||The Presentation of the 2017 Riley Award|
|7:30pm||Live Music - Nashville recording Artist - Jack Michael|
|9:00pm||FIREWORKS over the Peace River|
|9:30pm||Festival ends - Happy Fourth of July!|
For Elks and guests, the picnic on the river starts at 4 p.m. with music by Jimmy Banks.
Rooftop Firework Watching from the Wyvern Hotel
From the Perch 360, the Wyvern's rooftop restaurant/bar view the 4th Fest Fireworks for a cover charge of $10. The bar will also offer signature July Fourth cocktails and music from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Cruise and Fireworks
Kingfisher Cruise at $59 a person includes two drink tickets and cruise starting at 7:30 p.m. and returning to the dock after the fireworks display. Call (941) 639-0969 to check for availability.
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